Sports play a large role in many students’ lives and as such, they also tend to improve them for the better by: enhancing their overall health, motivating them to do better on schoolwork, and teaching them life skills like teamwork and being a graceful winner or loser. Student athletics have been proven not only to improve a child’s physical ability and development, but their cognitive and reasoning skills as well. Therefore, not only is the student athlete on a greater path to success individually, but the community as a whole often comes together to support them, increasing school engagement and town spirit as well.
According to a study done by The Division of the Adolescent and School Health for the Centers for Disease Control, recreational activities not only lower the risk of obesity for children of all ages, but also help them to concentrate in the classroom. This research examined 50 studies on the effects of physical activity at school on performance in the classroom and found that not only does recess improve attention in the classroom, but students also showed an increase in grade point average overall. In fact, the results were so pronounced that even short breaks of recess helped to improve test scores.
Another study at a cluster of high schools in Ohio concluded that schools with a higher percentage of students involved in physical activity reported higher overall test scores. One part of the study also showed a marked increase in the high school graduation rate with students who were involved in sports. Most teams have a set GPA a student must maintain to remain in the game, which is another way sports teams help to enhance student’s academic engagement in school. Students concentrate on their grades and often get tutoring to ensure they can remain on the team, even if they may have struggled initially with a topic.
From these studies and additional anecdotal evidence, it is easy to conclude that organized school sports not only boost morale and bring students together, but they help improve children’s overall school performance as well. Therefore, we should, as educators and parents, encourage sport-related activities both within the day-to-day functioning of our schools, as well as outside of them.
One of the best means to foster a love of sports, especially in children who aren’t naturally inclined towards them, is through Olympic themed day trips within our great city of Vancouver. The Olympics is an event that most children tend to enjoy watching, no matter their athletic ability, as these games tend to highlight athletics that aren’t necessarily commonplace in most schools. For this reason, we highly recommend that you begin any Vancouver excursion with a trip to the ROX: The Olympic Experience at the Richmond Oval. There, children can learn about some of the more obscure, but unbelievably exciting sports, like sit-ski, bobsleigh, or kayaking, amongst many others. If can’t decide on what to do in Vancouver with your students or children, this is a great start for any sports or Olympic themed trip.
Parents and educators alike should encourage children of all ages to participate in sports and athletic activities, not only for our kids’ overall health, but to improve their performance in school. Participation in athletics does not hand students the magic wand for success, but it does provide them with the tools and support they need to motive them within school and for the future.